Anglo African weekly news wrap on trending cyber-attacks, to keep you alert.

March 2, 2018

The personal information of thousands of Marines, sailors and civilians, including bank account numbers, was compromised in a major data spillage emanating from U.S. Marine Corps Forces Reserve. Roughly 21,426 people were impacted when an unencrypted email with an attachment containing personal confidential information was sent to the wrong email distribution list Monday morning. The compromised attachment included highly sensitive data such as truncated social security numbers, bank electronic funds transfer and bank routing numbers, truncated credit card information, mailing address, residential address and emergency contact information, Maj. Andrew Aranda, spokesman for Marine Forces Reserve said in a command release.

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Bitdefender has released a free decrypter that helps victims of GandCrab ransomware infections recover files without paying the ransom. The decrypter is available for download via the NoMoreRansom project, of which Bitdefender is a member of. Romanian Police and Romania’s DIICOT (Directorate for Investigating Organized Crime and Terrorism) announced the decrypter’s launch in statements published on their sites, minutes ago. Europol is also expected to make a formal announcement later today. Arrests were also made, a source in Romanian law enforcement has told Bleeping Computer, although they did not detail how many suspects were apprehended, their nationality, or the place of their arrest.

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Cybersecurity company DarkMatter has launched a new smartphone that’s right out of a spy movie. Called the Katim, it features advanced security features to stop people snooping on the contents of your mobile. Alongside Snapchat-style self-destructing messages, the phone has a cryptic “shield mode” that blocks off the microphone, bluetooth and camera to thwart any possible hacks. It’s being billed as “the world’s most secure phone” and was unveiled at the Mobile World Congress event in Barcelona this week. The 5.2-inch Android smartphone uses advanced encryption to give customers the peace of mind that the likes of James Bond and Ethan Hunt take for granted.

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Security researchers have discovered nasty new Android malware that’s purpose-built for blackmail. It’s called RedDrop, and it’s a bit nastier than run-of-the-mill ransomware. RedDrop wants your files, but not the way that most of today’s malware does. It’s not out to encrypt your files and force you to fork over a payment in order to unlock them. Instead, RedDrop wants to steal all the information it can from your phone… just in case, there’s something juicy in there that its creators can use against you. Researchers at U.K.-based Wandera say that RedDrop targets sensitive data like your contacts and photos. It also gathers information about your phone, from the apps you have installed to the WiFi networks you’re near. The most frightening thing about RedDrop, however, is that it can hijack your phone’s microphone.

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